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Anti-ageing breakthroughs you need to know

Anti-ageing breakthroughs you need to know
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Thanks to advances in science, technology, and medicine, there’s a good chance you’ll probably age better than your parents. So if you’re not already aware of or implementing these things in your life, you might want to start.

More exercise

More exercise
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Getting older doesn’t have to mean becoming frail and disabled. You can have a great quality of life well into your 80s despite getting older. The push for more exercise throughout your life can actually have benefits later on. One Canadian study showed that octogenarian athletes had 30 per cent more motor units in their leg muscle tissue – resembling the muscles of people decades younger on a cellular level – than older people who were sedentary. So, we now realise that a decline in muscular health as we age is not inevitable. “We know the benefit of fitness at every age,” says dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies.

Here’s the best way to eat your way to a flatter belly, according to science.

Better joint replacements

Better joint replacements
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Joint replacements as we age are increasingly common, due in part to more older people seeking to maintain an active lifestyle. A University of Iowa study found that total knee replacement surgeries have more than doubled in the past 20 years. And thanks to better materials, surgical techniques, and recovery protocols, the rate of success is high. According to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, 90 per cent of joint replacements will still be working well after 20 years. “Better, more durable implant materials, as well as the ability to achieve ideal implant alignment, combine to improve the function and extend the service life of both hip and knee replacements,” says Dr Andrew Glassman, chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and chief of adult reconstructive surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Here are 20 food facts that will change how you eat.

A new attitude towards growing older

A new attitude towards growing older
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The old adage “age is just a number” turns out to be true: A better attitude towards getting older can actually help your physical health. A Yale study found that older people with more positive self-perceptions of growing old measured up to 23 years earlier than those with less positive self-perceptions. As society as a whole starts recognising this, a new and better attitude will actually help us extend not only our lifespan but our “health span,” the amount of time we’re healthy. “It’s common sense that if you think about ageing as being in crisis and decline, that is what will show up,” says Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, president of the healthcare consulting firm The Ageing Experience. “Likewise, if you look at it as another chapter in your life, a quality chapter that brings new experiences and fulfilment, that is what you will attract.”

Watch out for the signs your body is ageing faster than you are.

Improved cartilage solutions

Improved cartilage solutions
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Even better than joint replacement are the improvements in ways to repair the body’s own cartilage. “Multiple advancements in cartilage restoration are available now in the U.S., and others are in clinical trials with the anticipation of being available in the future,” says David Flanigan, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. One technique, he says, involves harvesting and growing the patient’s own cartilage cells to create a scaffold, then implanting it for new cartilage tissue to grow around. Another uses grafts from donors, which are now able to be kept viable longer, allowing them time to reach the recipient. Plus, “these advanced procedures often allow surgeons to replace the focal damaged cartilage through smaller incisions than the past that can improve patient recovery,” Dr Flanigan says. “All of these procedures are allowing patients to regain function and quality of life, and hopefully delaying the arthritic process within the knee.”

More plant-based food

More plant-based food
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Just as our knowledge of the benefits of physical activity has increased, so have we learned more about nutrition. “The two most important things that determine healthy ageing are the lifelong diet and exercise programs that people choose to engage in,” says Pinchas Cohen, MD, Dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. “A diet richer in fruits and vegetables and lower in animal products and processed foods is critical.” One Harvard study showed that women in their 50s and 60s who ate more plant foods, whole grains, and fish, and fewer red and processed meats, were 40 per cent more likely to live past 70 without chronic illness. “A diet rich in pulses – including lentils, chickpeas, beans and dry peas – has been linked to reduced cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and obesity,” says Palinski-Wade. As our diets shift to more plant-based foods, we’ll live better longer.

These are the reasons why vegetables are so good for you.

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Greater understanding of which foods are bad for us

Greater understanding of which foods are bad for us
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As we continue to examine how foods affect our body, we’re realising that certain foods, like fat and eggs, might not be as bad as we thought. “We now know eggs are not off limits – a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that up to one egg per day is associated with a 12 per cent reduction in the risk of stroke,” Palinski-Wade says. Also, not all fats are created equal. “We now know trans fats and added sugars in the diet can be more detrimental to our health than saturated fats,” she adds. In fact, sugar may be the real culprit behind negative health outcomes as we age. “Sugar and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, rice and corn, are good to avoid, particularly for people who are prone to diabetes,” Dr Cohen says.

Consider adding these heart-healthy foods to your everyday diet.

More effective exercise

More effective exercise
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Along with exercising more, we’re starting to learn the types of exercise that are most beneficial for our health. “There is still debate about this, but both aerobic and weightlifting exercises have been shown to be important and should both be utilised,” Dr. Cohen says. “Adding yoga or other activities for maintaining balance, such as tai chi, is also important and should be started early in life.” Palinski-Wade agrees that along with simply moving more, the benefits of strength training for bone health are clear. “A focus on strength training to increase muscle strength, balance, and fight against bone loss boosts not only cardiovascular health but fights against osteoporosis and fall risk as we age,” she says.

Pack your diet with these metabolism-boosting foods!

Making cells young again

Making cells young again
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Exciting research in cell decline might actually lead to a fountain of youth for future seniors. University of California – Berkeley bioengineer Irina Conboy, PhD, has pioneered this research. “We have shown for the first time that mammalian tissue ageing is rapidly reversible through a youthful modification of blood circulation,” she says. It’s not young blood itself, but rather changing old blood to make it more like new blood that could theoretically reverse the decline. In addition, the discovery of what Dr Conboy calls “youthful re-calibration of key cell signalling networks” to repair older tissues is leading to new drugs that could be on the market soon. “We expect a fast path toward FDA approval to treat a class of age-imposed tissue degenerative and metabolic diseases,” she says.

 

Greater understanding of inflammation

Greater understanding of inflammation
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Scientists are also learning about the role of inflammation in causing different diseases, and how that’s connected to tissue decline. “We believe that Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic decline, flare of cancers, and other age-associated diseases are not entirely separate pathologies, but have a common cause: abandonment of tissue maintenance and repair,” Dr Conboy says. In a vicious cycle, “excessive inflammation inhibits regenerative responses of tissue stem cells, and tissue remains un-repaired and damaged, which causes more inflammation.” In her research youthfully recalibrating old cells, she’s also found that inflammation is reduced. A greater understanding of the role of inflammation in disease, plus discoveries like Dr Conboy’s, could lead to ways to treat age-related disease.

Here are 9 subtle signs of hidden inflammation!

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team